Novak Djokovic crushes Andy Murray in four sets to claim French Open title at Roland Garros and complete career Grand Slam
- Andy Murray began strongly, claiming the first set 6-3 at Roland Garros before Novak Djokovic hit back
- The Serb powered to the second set 6-1 and followed it up commandingly in third, winning it 6-2
- Murray lost his way as the match progressed and a merciless Djokovic sealed glory by taking the fourth 6-4
The world No 1 subdued a brilliant opening from the 29 year-old Scot to win the final 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 and confirm his claims to be among the greatest players ever.
In taking a twelfth Grand Slam the Serb became only the third man ever to hold all four of the Major titles at once, completing the full house with a magnificent display that Murray could not equal.
Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray at Roland Garros on Sunday to claim the French Open for the first time in his career
Murray started very promisingly, winning the first set 6-3 but World No 1 Djokovic hit back against the Scot in style
Serbian Djokovic, who had the backing of the crowd at Roland Garros, won the following two sets 6-1 and 6-2
Murray ran out of answers against Djokovic, who has now once again defeated the Scot in the final of a Major tournament
He has now done something that the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been unable to do – carrying off the non-calendar Grand Slam as Rod Laver and Donald Budge did before him. The Novak Slam lives and could yet become a calendar quartet.
Murray threw everything he had at the first set to shock his opponent, but simply could not keep up that level of ultra-commitment in the face of a defiant Djokovic and a partisan crowd.
Every key indicator went the other way after that – the first serve, second serve, returns and winner count completely in the favour of the World No 1. Murray, forced back behind the baseline, tried to stay calm, tried to get angry – especially with the overhead camera – but found himself comprehensively outplayed.
The Scot at least asked the question at the end with a gutsy late surge, breaking back to 4-5 from 2-5 in the fourth set. Djokovic egged the crowd on as he felt his way to the finish line, and finally clinched it, after a nervy double fault and backhand error on his first two match points.
Murray netted the third with a backhand, and climbed over the net to congratulate him before Djokovic drew a heart on the court and laid down in the middle of it.
Djokovic had walked out to the louder roar from the crowd, with Serbian flags being waved in all corners of Court Philippe Chatrier. Murray was trying to break his record of never having won on his first appearance at a particular Grand Slam final, and it was clear that he would be getting less encouragement on another grey and heavy day.
Murray stretches to make a backhand during his clash against rival Djokovic in the final of the French Open
Murray buries his face in his towel as he tries to consider how force his way back into the final against Djokovic
But Murray struggled to assert himself as the encounter continued, while Djokovic's level carried on rising
Murray's wife, Kim, watches on as her husband toils in the final of the French Open at Roland Garros on Sunday
The Serb played as perfect a return game as could be imagined at the start, breaking to love. However, Murray's response was majestic, breaking him straight back with a deft backhand lob.
After an easy hold he broke for 3-1 when Djokovic sent a forehand long, although his problem had been whacking too many of them in the net. He actually seemed in shock at the quality coming at him from the other end.
Murray's only distraction was having French TV interviewer Nelson Monfort removed from his row of support crew but he kept his head to move to 5-3.
He had a spot of luck at 15-0 when umpire Damien Dumusois overruled a line call on second serve and, bravely but erroneously, gave Murray the point as the return went long. The whistling was deafening but again Murray kept his composure and took the set on a third set point when Djokovic netted a backhand.
Murray had never beaten Djokovic before after losing the first set so its importance could hardly be overstated.
But it was always going to be a struggle to maintain that level of intensity and Murray's aggression and first serve percentage dropped off while Djokovic cut his unforced error count to shift the momentum.
The Scot was looking at his notes at the changeovers but nothing could revive him and his first serve percentage lagged while Djokovic was landing three out of four from the other end.
Murray had never beaten Djokovic before after losing the first set, so the significance of it going his way could hardly be overstated
But Djokovic's response was superb and he raised the level of his game after falling behind in the opening stages
Djokovic was backed by the crowd at Roland Garros, which Murray struggled to quieten during the encounter in Paris
Now completely controlling the baseline, the world No 1 took it in 33 minutes with the Murray whirlwind having blown out.
Murray secured an important hold at the start of the third but he could not stem the tide, slotting an easy forehand volley into the net on break point to go 2-1 down. It was to be the decisive point of the match.
After that there was certainly only one player who looked like they had played five hours more tennis this fortnight, and who had battled past the defending champion in the semi-final.
Djokovic was becoming increasingly immaculate, and he effectively sealed the third with a second break through a brilliant dink at the net when Murray had lured him in with a perfectly well-executed dropshot.
The set was closer than the second but Djokovic's ability to turn defence into attack was running his opponent's legs off, not helped by Murray's irritation with the overhead camera and the constant calls from the pro-Serb element in the crowd.
The winners had almost dried up completely, with Murray unable to bludgeon his forehand like early on. Djokovic was serene, underpinned by his trusty serve and attacks on the Murray second serve, which became less and less effective.
His only hope was for the world No 1 to tighten up in sight of history but despite the late pressure, to his immense credit, it never happened.
Murray tried to cajole himself into responding to Djokovic's onslaught but the Serbian proved to be too good
Djokovic produced a formidable and tireless display to beat Murray in four sets and claimed the fourth 6-4
Djokovic's performance was composed and elegant and his ability to attack from defending positions tired Murray
'It's the greatest moment of my career and the sun is coming out,' said Djokovic as, incredibly, the skies cleared for the first time in eight days precisely after his win.
A magnaminous Murray afterwards praised the crowd, despite their occasional hostility and also his opponent: “It was a fantastic atmosphere to day, it’s apleaseure to play in front of a crowd like that.
“This is Novak’s day today, what he has achieved in the last twelve months is phenomenal, winning all four Grand Slams in one year is an amazing achievement. Everyone here is lucky to see it but it sucks to lose the match.”